Once you are both at the designated location, you’ll need to build a bit of rapport and create as relaxed an environment as possible. If you blurt everything out straight away, you risk offending your colleague – instead, you should start with a little bit of light chatter, and then slowly introduce the idea that you have something you would like to talk about. You should also tell them that the topic you’d like to discuss is very sensitive – perhaps even explaining that you were in two minds whether or not to even mention it – and explain that you’re telling them because you are their friend, and you have their own personal interests at heart.
3. Give Your Colleague a Choice
Once you have explained that you have a sensitive issue to discuss, and that you are telling them as a friend, you should finally explain that what you are about to say might cause offense, and therefore it is up to them if they wish to hear it or not. It is very unlikely that they will say no, yet giving them this choice is a very powerful way of handing a bit of control in their direction, while reminding them that this is not a personal attack.
4. Explain the Issue Respectfully
It’s time to take the plunge. Try to downplay the issue a little, to help them feel less embarrassed. For example, you might want to tell them that you’ve noticed, on one or two occasions during hot weather, that even though you’re sure they shower regularly, they give off body odour. Of course, it isn’t always body odour – some people might smell because they own a lot of animals and perhaps don’t realise the smell is sticking to their clothes; but this is just an example, and the important part is making sure you don’t embarrass them completely by telling them in no uncertain terms that they always stink!
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